Residents cry fowl over 100 backyard chickens living in one of Victoria’s priciest neighbourhoods
There’s a growing flap over a flock of backyard chickens that calls one of Victoria’s priciest neighbourhoods home.
More than 100 chickens were delivered to a two-acre Rockland property back in March, just before the City of Victoria passed new rules limiting the number of backyard chickens to 15.
But even with the new bylaw now in place, and the owner being warned by the city that she is in contravention of the law, neighbours say nothing has been done.
“The chickens are still here, there are far more than 15 of them,” said next-door neighbour Chantal Meagher. “So, if a bylaw cannot be enforced, then what use is it?”
WATCH: The flap over 100 chickens coming to a Victoria neighbourhood
In a statement, the City of Victoria said:
“If a property is in violation of the provisions, our standard approach is to seek voluntary compliance through discussions with the property owner. In the event voluntary compliance is not achieved, the city would seek authority to enforce the bylaw through the courts.”
Meagher said she has had no choice but to take matters into her own hands — setting traps, not for the chickens but the vermin they’re attracting.
“It’s a rat buffet,” she said. “I think we’re facing a real danger of infestation.”
Meagher is paying for the pest control out of her own pocket. According to the bylaw, pest control is ultimately the property owner’s responsibility. On Tuesday, traps were finally set on that side of the fence.
The property owner, Wei Tu, did not return calls to Global News on Tuesday, but in March said the project was all about food sustainability.
“It’s only for the eggs,” Tu told Global News at the time. “Eggs are going to be shared among our residents there.”
Despite being in violation of the bylaw, there’s a chance the chicken operation could continue to exist. Council is considering amendments to the bylaw, including the power to grant exemptions to a person or property if closing a chicken operation would result in undue hardship to an owner.
Meagher calls that proposal yet another delay tactic.
“It’s quite laughable,” she said.
Council will discuss the bylaw amendments this Thursday.
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